Failure to Report Certain Wounds and Convictions in New York
What places an individual at risk?
Failure to report certain crimes within New York often possess penalties. There are certain crimes in which the authorities need to be aware of activity or injuries. This article will cover four different occasions in which a police report needs to be filed for individuals that choose not to report these crimes and injuries.
The injuries that are required to be reported are injuries that are afflicted by a firearm, knife, sharp-pointed instrument, and any device that causes life-threatening injuries (ex an ice pick or stabbing with a ski pole).
To whom is this law applies?
This law applies to any physician or supervisor caring for a patient with a burn, intentional injuries, or firearm-related injuries. These particular injury patterns suggest the firing of a firearm, which could lead to the discovery of a crime. Burn injuries in which the fire marshall would need to inspect and be aware of the dangers are also necessary to be reported.
The company, employee, or management can be held liable if they do not report claims of wiretapping or knowledge of criminal communications. This not only encourages individuals and corporations to report incidents, but also provide accountability when a blind eye is turned. This helps to prevent and investigate criminal activity when it is suspected.
If at any point you feel as though activity is suspicious, an injury is suspicious, or are dealing with a gunshot wound, contacting police will ensure your safety as well as those around you. Reporting any burns allows for an inspector to investigate when needed if it was a preventable cause.
Related State Statutes
In addition to these circumstances, there are other indications that require reporting as well. Examples of these include child abuse/neglect, criminal activity, incident or accident report. Each of these requires a report to be made to the proper authorities. Failure to report criminal activity could place you at risk for cooperation or as an accessory to the crimes committed.
Failing to report traffic incidents escalates the offenses and places you at risk for additional charges. When in doubt, call and ask your local jurisdiction.There are mandated reporters in every state as well. These individuals are bound by law to files reports of suspected child abuse, child neglect, elderly abuse, or elderly neglect.
Typically mandated reporters applies to government workers, police, fire and EMS, teachers and healthcare workers. Mandated reporters protect those who need it most. When a report is made, APS or CPS investigates to ensure the safety of those involved. They are bound by law to report any activity that is considered abuse or neglect for child protective services to investigate.
Failure to report is literally not contacting authorities to document an incident or injury properly. Most often, reports are made with law enforcement. The officer will document the details, injuries, damages, and any other crucial information to that case and associated charges. Incidents or injuries that require reporting are meant to protect the public and citizens.
- Article 250 Section 15 states that failing to report the use of wiretapping technology is a crime and considered a class B misdemeanor. If you were to see any equipment that is associated with wiretapping or are concerned, then law enforcement should be notified. This can be reported to police or an agency that investigates the claim.
- Article 250 Section 35 is a very general claim. It sets out to say that any member at any level (management, worker, citizen, or bystander) that has any knowledge of the illegal activity must report the information and turn in anything pertinent to allow for an investigation.
The second clause of the section states that the citizen must also do everything in their power to cooperate with the agency performing the investigation. If you resist or do not report, it can be considered a class B misdemeanor. This allows for a punishment for the condoning of criminal activity in which it is not reported due to various reasons such as cooperation or participation in the organization.
- Article 265 Section 25 provides a list of injuries in which law enforcement should be notified. It includes injuries related to firearms, sharp objects, and instruments meant to maim or kill. This law applies to any individual must report the crime. It does, however, exclude members of the service when they are performing their jobs.
- Finally, Article 265 Section 26 states that any second or third degree burns larger than 5% of the body surface area must be reported. Note, when measuring and calculating the burns, the size of your palm is considered 1% and can be used to estimate the percent of burns.
Medical staff uses the rule of nine to determine the surface area burned (where each limb is 9%, and the core body is 18% for front and 18% for the back). This also includes burns related to the airway. These can occur from inhaling hot gases that damage the airway. Burns that are likely to cause death to the victim should be reported.
This allows for fire administration to investigate the case and the safety of the location and circumstances to prevent further injuries and damage. If these injuries are failed to be reported, this is considered a class B misdemeanor.
Each of these offenses is required to be reported to avoid charges upon yourself. If you know of the event and do not report, you place yourself at risk for prosecution. Not only could you be charged with failing to report but can also be tried for aiding and abetting (meaning you worked with the criminals). The following two elements must be met for a successful conviction for failure to report aspect.
Element #1:Knowledge of the crime, wiretapping or Injury (whichever is applicable)
Obviously, in order to be prosecuted for failure to report, you must be aware of the activity or injury occurring. You cannot be held accountable for an occurrence that you were not informed of.
Element #2: Intentionally not reporting the crime
For the prosecution to determine that you failed to report, you must have intentionally chosen not to report said crime or injury. By choosing not to report the incident and making the decision opens you up to the consequences that are included with the crime.
When reporting, this can be done to law enforcement, anonymous tip lines, through a hospital (if the incident is an injury) or an agency that is capable of investigating the crime.
From a Federal Standpoint
When looking at the U.S. Code, the basis for the state laws, it states that knowledge of a felony must be reported or there are consequences. The reference is 18 U.S. Code section four. The maximum penalty is fines up to $250,000 and prison for up to 3 years. You must comply with investigators and answer questions truthfully if you know any details of the felony.
By informing law enforcement, you remove yourself from that situation. This allows you not to be charged in aiding and abetting of the criminal proceedings and that you were not working with the individuals. Failure to do so, however, can lead down a slippery slope to perjury, cooperation with the criminals, and a trial in which you must defend yourself.
There is also a separate law in the US Code 18 section 225 for failure to report child abuse or neglect by a mandated reporter. In this code, it sets out that the reporter can be fined and jailed up to a year if they were aware of the abuse/neglect and did not make a timely report. Mandatory reporters are encouraged to report all suspicious activity, and from this law provides punishment for those who turn a knowing blind eye.
When choosing to not report criminal activity, you place yourself at risk for charges such as aiding and abetting, obstruction, perjury, and hit and run. In addition, you can be tried for the crimes that are being committed. All of these crimes carry heavy fines and prison sentences for not making the call.
With any crime that is committed, when you are aware that the activity is occurring and standby ideally, there is a point in which you are legally obligated to report. If you do not, you can be charged with any of the crimes listed above. By not contacting the police, you are allowing the activity to continue- also known as aiding and abetting.
The activity will continue, and since you did not provide the information or refused to, this caused the police not to be able to apprehend the criminals- obstruction. If at any point you lie while under oath or to an officer in an official statement, this lies whether menacing or not is considered perjury.
Crimes Related to Traffic Infractions
When the crimes are related to traffic infractions, failure to report a traffic incident, or leaving the scene, can both have severe consequences. By not reporting the crime, when the owner discovers the damage and files a report, it is a hit and run.
If you are involved in a collision and you do not stop or leave before law enforcement arrives, it can be construed as fleeing the scene or attempt to evade the police. These carry the punishments of fines that range from $250-$5,000 and jail time up to 7 years. The fines and jail times vary depending on the injury to the other party involved.
The following are two different examples of failure to report:
- In Monroe County Michigan, a public official was charged and convicted of failure to report a crime. The county commissioner, Greg Moore, was involved in a collision. He reportedly lost control of his vehicle and struck two trees. He did not report the incident to law enforcement when it occurred and waited over 12 hours to file a report. He received a guilty conviction of the misdemeanor and is scheduled for sentencing in June.
- In Spencer Iowa, Kristen Hannegrefs was involved in a rollover vehicle crash which involved multiple bottles of closed and an open container of alcohol. She was allegedly intoxicated and lost control of her vehicle.
She states a deer ran in front of her SUV, causing her to swerve into a ditch, overcorrect and then crash. She is charged with failure to report an accident with injuries, open container violation, and failure to maintain control of her vehicle. She faces trial in the upcoming months and has not been sentenced.
These two examples show where the individuals failed to report their incidents to law enforcement. In not reporting their accident, the proper authorities were not notified of risks to the public. Vehicles that are abandoned after a crash pose a traffic risk, environmental risk due to the leaking of fluids, and a danger in that they are unstable and can roll further or start a fire from combustible fluids.
The vehicles could have also damaged property and left damage, such as the tree blocking the road that could place another individual at risk. In addition, by fleeing the scene, possibly due to intoxication, it places the victim at risk for further charges such as fleeing the scene or DUI.
Who Investigates these Crimes?
The failure to report crimes such as wiretapping or criminal communications are investigated by local law enforcement and federal agencies such as the FBI. They will use various search methods at their disposal to determine the extent of involvement and who had knowledge of the crime.
Local law enforcement, if the crimes are isolated to their jurisdiction, will gather the evidence from the wiretapping or criminal enterprises. They can use the data collected to charge those involved and those who knew of the activity and chose not to report the activity.
When failing to report certain injuries, this can be investigated by local law enforcement. They are notified to determine a further risk to the public, determine the cause and intention, and to protect others from possible injuries. Wounds that are inflicted by sharp instruments or firearms are investigated to eliminate the possibility of criminal activity.
Burns investigations help to ensure the safety of the public and property from further injury. These are performed by Inhalation injuries can be life-threatening to the patient as well as others who enter the area. There is also consideration given to damage that has occurred and if there is still a hazard present.
By investigating these burns, a professional can see if they were accidental, thus developing a plan for prevention. If the burns were intentional, a criminal investigation ensues.
Both of these crimes are considered misdemeanors. This means that they have lighter punishments and sentences than that of a felony. The sentences and fines can vary depending on the circumstances. It is at the discretion of the judge.
- Failure to report certain wounds and burns are both considered to be class B misdemeanors. The punishments for these crimes can result in fines up to $500 to the individual. A prison sentence of 90 days or less can also be sentenced. These two punishments can be issued separately or together depending on the individual circumstances and the judge’s decision.
- Failure to report wiretapping and criminal activity is a higher level of a misdemeanor as a class A. These are still not considered felonies though. The maximum sentence of jail time must be less than one year. The fines cannot exceed $1,000. These consequences can be imposed separately or together.
It is also important to note that you can be charged with additional crimes such as aiding and abetting or obstruction. These are separate charges that carry their own penalties that can be imposed. It is possible to be charged with the criminal activities that occurred for knowingly refusing to report criminal activities.
These sentences carry the punishments that are listed. They can be increased in severity based on several factors. For example, if you have a criminal background, the crimes that were involved, and the circumstances. A judge has the ability to change the sentences based on the conditions of crime.
Having an attorney to look at your individual circumstances, including the past and present charges can provide you with an advantage. These skilled lawyers are aware of the elements required in each law and charge. They can assist you in determining the risks that you are facing.
Unlike felony charges, misdemeanors do not carry the loss of rights that felonies do. These charges do remain on your criminal background and history. They can limit your source of employment when they appear as well.
They will not cost your right to vote or purchase firearms, however. These misdemeanor charges provide a stain on your record but do not cause for the life-altering effects that a felony would impose.
The main defense to failure to report of any of the crimes above is lack of knowledge of the activity or injury. The prosecution must prove that you were aware of the wiretapping or criminal activity occurring. In the case of injuries, you must be aware of the injury itself, including the cause and intention (accidental or not). This is a critical element in the successful conviction of these charges.
A secondary defense includes intentionally not reporting the crimes or injuries. There must be an intentional choice not to report the incidents. Should you not report them due to incapacitated (ex. In the hospital being treated for injuries), this does not constitute intentionally not reporting.
These are the two main elements involved in these cases. An attorney can help to show where you were unaware of the crimes and did not choose not to report the incident. This is critical to your defense and to avoid a guilty conviction. In any case, you should seek legal representation to evaluate your individual circumstances.
Why do you need a lawyer?
With each case, there are individual and varying circumstances. By having an attorney present, they can evaluate your case and determine the best and most effective defense. The fines and possible jail sentence should warrant professional advice.
Each defense can be custom tailored to your situation and are aware of the possible outcomes. A lawyer can help to prepare you to face these charges with confidence and feeling as though you are prepared to clear your name. Reach out today to begin your consultation.